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POST-CLASSICAL AGE. 6 th century CE to 1450 CE Began with rise of Islam First trans-regional civilization Spans Eurasia and Africa Era of two great powers: Islam, China Ended due to Turks, Mongols, Black Death Characteristics Spread of universalizing religions, philosophies

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post classical age
  • 6th century CE to 1450 CE
    • Began with rise of Islam
      • First trans-regional civilization
      • Spans Eurasia and Africa
    • Era of two great powers: Islam, China
    • Ended due to Turks, Mongols, Black Death
  • Characteristics
    • Spread of universalizing religions, philosophies
    • Saw rise of new civilization centers
    • Emergence of network of global contacts
    • Ages of Faith, Aristocracy, Increasing Inequalities
  • State Structure
    • Most systems were aristocratic in nature
    • Most systems were decentralized
    • Influence of system was often more important
  • Agents of Change
    • Often trade or economic
    • Pastoral nomads and migration less important
    • Universalizing Faiths
  • World System or Global Contacts
    • No world system yet (Americas, Oceania not included)
    • Afro-Eurasia was a system though
  • Women in the Era
    • Less Centralized states: women have more influence
    • Less Aristocratic states: women have more influence
    • Increasing institutionalization means fewer rights
interregional networks
  • An Age of Faiths: Religions and Missionaries
    • Christianity
      • Roman Catholicism
      • Orthodoxy: Cyril and Methodius
    • Buddhism
      • Merchants spread it to East Asia, Southeast Asia
      • Pilgrimages to South Asia
    • Islam
      • Pilgrimage
      • Dar al Islam as created by the vast conquests
      • Sufi missionaries and merchants
    • Jews and Nestorians
    • Southeast Asia: Spread of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam
  • Trading Patterns
    • Muslim system including Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Indian Ocean Systems: East Africa to Southeast Asia
    • East Asia
    • Central Asia: The Silk Road and Nomads
    • Western European – Mediterranean and North Sea
the islamic world
  • Bedouin Origins
  • Muhammad and Early Islam
    • The Quran, The Jihad
    • The Sharia and Ulama
    • The Five Pillars
  • The Orthodox Caliphs
    • The Caliphate
    • The Sunni-Shia Split
  • The Umayyads and Abassid
    • Dhimmi status and “People of the Book”
    • The Sultan and Vizier
    • The Roles of the Turks and Mongols
  • Other Muslim Worlds
    • Muslims in Spain
    • Muslims in Central Asia
    • Muslims in Africa
    • Muslims in Southeast Asia
  • Structural Change: Fragmentation:,Sultans, Viziers, Harem
  • Dar al Islam provides cultural, religious unity to region


  • Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Sahel: Ghana, Mali, Songhai
    • East Africa: Swahilis, Ethiopia
    • Southern Africa: Kongo, Zimbabwe
    • Tribute empires, syncretic blending
  • South Asia
    • Post-Harsha: Regional divisions, caste stability
    • From Muslims to the Sultanate of Delhi
      • Arabs conquer Al-Sind, raid, trade into N. India
      • Turks establish a Mameluk Sultanate
    • Southern India: A Hindu Renaissance, commercial
      • Vaisaya caste expands with commere
chung kuo china
  • The 2nd Warring States Period 220 – 589 CE
    • Nomadic conquerors intermixing with sedentary Chinese
    • Spread of Buddhism
  • Sui Dynasty reunited China; the Grand Canal
  • Tang Dynasty
    • The Golden Age of China
    • Bureaucracy and Civil Service through Confucian exams
    • Scholar Gentry
  • Song Dynasty
    • Merchants have upper hand
    • Great technological and commercial innovation
      • Gunpowder, compass, porcelain, movable type printing
  • Why was China so strong
    • Twice flowering rice increased harvests
    • Settlement of marginal lands, use of terraces
    • Capitalism as opposed to mercantilism
    • Currency based economy
  • Neo-Confucianism blends Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism
on china s periphery
  • Sinification vs. Indigenous Development
  • Tribute System vs. Annexation
  • Japan
    • Yamato Clan unifies Japan (Shinto)
    • Nara: Prince Shotoku copies Chinese style of state (Confucianism)
    • Buddhism enters through contacts
    • Heian: Japanese develop their own culture
    • Court Elite vs Rural Elite vs majority of population
    • Military elite assumes increasing power not scholar gentry
  • Korea
    • Korguyo; Silla unifies Korea
    • Confucian but not as rigid; Buddhism as balance
    • Slavery continues to exist in large numbers
  • Vietnam
    • Chinese attempts to control area until 1000 CE
    • Vietnamese independence: Sinified elite different from commoners
    • Women have great influence at court, in local matters
southeast asia
  • Transition between Indian Ocean, China
  • Decentralized State Structures, Feudalism, Tribute
    • Funan
    • Khmer Empire
    • Srivijayan Empire
    • Malacca
  • Interactions
    • Commerce and Trade
    • Spread of Religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam
    • Syncretism
  • Hierarchical Systems Different: Gender
the byzantines as buffers
  • The Byzantines
    • Insulated Europe from Arabs, Turks
    • Civilized, Christianized the Slavs especially Russians
    • Preserved Greco-Roman Culture
    • Helped spread Arabic learning to the west
    • Monasticism was an Eastern development
  • The Schism
    • A contest of wills between the pope, emperor
    • When west was young, pope was weak
    • As west emerged, pope got stronger
    • The split was over the authority of the pope
    • What occurred in 1054 was many centuries in coming
developments in europe
  • Blending Traditions
    • Christianity, Germanic Custom, Roman Law
  • The Structures from 5th century to 1000 CE
    • From Kingdoms to the Franks to the Holy Roman Empire
    • The Roman Catholic Church
      • Caesaro-papism or Papal Supremacy
      • The Investiture Crisis
      • Monasticism
    • Feudalism
      • Aristocracy, reciprocity, and primogeniture
      • Local rule, local self-defense, fiefs, vassals
    • Manorialism including serfdom, manors, autarky
  • Vikings: Raid, Trade, Settle, New States
  • A Changing Europe: After 1000 CE
    • Rise of Towns and with it the rise of the bourgeoisie
    • Commerce and Great Fairs: use of money rather than barter
    • Scholasticism and Chivalry
    • The Black Death leads to labor shortages
    • Peasant Rebellions
    • Wars devastate the aristocracy
    • Rise of centralizing monarchs using law, taxes not custom
  • The Crusades as Contacts for Change
the 14 th century in europe
  • Expanded Warfare
    • 100 Years War: Technology vs. Aristocratic Chivalry
    • Reconquista in Iberia
  • The New Monarchy and Nationalism
    • Centralizing royalty vs. decentralized feudalism
    • Spain, England, France
  • The Babylonian Captivity and Great Schism
    • The papacy was undermined by squabbling
    • Never theological but was always political
    • People began to question need for the pope
    • Heresies occurred as did some attempts to reform church
  • The Renaissance
    • An expression of commercial prosperity
    • Began in Italy in the 1300s with emphasis on arts
    • The “We/Sacred” gave way to “I/Secular”
    • Glorification of the Classical produced new ideas
    • Humanism and Science


  • The Impact of the Mongols
    • Destroyed all existing state structure
    • Destroyed agriculture in some areas
    • Left a vacuum upon collapse, helped create new systems
    • Forced states, peoples to adapt, adopt to survive
  • Increased contacts between distant Eurasian parts
  • Spread Diseases
  • Exchanged Technologies
  • Movement of Peoples
disconnected the americas
  • Paleolithic, Neolithic Peoples Existed During this period
    • Americas also had these phases, which lasted longer
      • Nomadic hunters, gatherers, fishers
    • Settled agricultural communities in many places of Americas
      • Subsistence vs. surplus; Irrigation systems
      • Differentiated labor systems and hierarchy
      • Ceremonial centers and pyramids
  • Americas Post-Classical Civilizations
    • Centers
      • Mesoamerica
        • Toltecs
        • Mayans
        • Aztec
      • Andean South America
        • Chimu, Mohica
        • Incas
    • Contacts Between Centers Limited but corn did spread
    • Technology had not changed much over millennia
    • Roles of Merchants, Roles of Diplomats
urban centers
  • Cities
    • Cosmopolitan cultures
    • Centers of exchanges and commerce
  • Dar al Islam and China
    • Both civilizations were centered on cities, urban cultures
    • Had most of the world cities with large populations
  • Geographic World
    • China: Chang-an (Xian), Hangzhou, Canton
    • Central Asia: Samarkand
    • West Africa: Timbuktu
    • East Africa: Swahili Cities
    • Dar al Islam: Baghdad, Cairo, Cordoba
    • Western Europe: Venice, the Hansa
    • Southeast Asia: Srivijaya, Malacca
    • Southern Asia: Calicut
    • Eastern Europe: Kiev, Constantinople, Novgorod
    • Meso-Americas: Teotihuacan, Tikal, Tenochitlan
demographic changes
  • Cultural Diffusion through migration or Indigenous Development
  • Migrations
    • Agricultural Peoples: Bantus
      • Comparable to Germanic migrations (but Bantu were usually not invaders)
      • Settlement of East, Central, Southern Africa
      • Diffusion of iron-making, farming, herding
      • State building: Kongo, Swahili trading cities
    • Nomadic Peoples
      • Comparable to Hunnic and Indo-European migrations
      • Arab Bedouins
      • Turks: Seljuk and Ottoman
        • Disrupted Abbasids, Byzantines, Central Asia
        • Introduced mameluk armies, Sultans
        • Produced the first European crusades
      • Mongols and Mughals
        • Disrupted most of Eurasia
        • Created a power vacuum
  • Contacts as Migration
    • Pilgrimage: Buddhist, Muslim, Christian
    • Commercial contacts along caravan and sea routes
    • Scholarly exchanges between Muslim and non-Muslim worlds
demography diseases
  • Demographic Shift
    • A change in demographic patterns
    • Abrupt decrease in population due to illness
  • 6th century Bubonic Plague
    • Preceded spread of Arabs
    • Strongest impact was in SW Asia, East Africa
  • Black Death or 14th Century Bubonic Plague
    • Originated in China
    • Spread by Mongols throughout Eurasia
    • Spread throughout Mediterranean by contacts
    • Results
      • Labor Shortages: fostered growth of free, paid labor
      • Attacked old elites in cities producing new urban elites
      • Broke back of Mongols, small states
      • Forced states to create new means of taxation, military formations
social hierarchy
  • Aristocracies: Called Gate Keepers
    • European classes of “those who fight” and “those who pray”
    • Capulis of the Aztecs and the nobles of the Mayans
    • Brahmins and Kshatriyas of South Asia
    • The landed scholar gentry (shi) of China
    • The daimyos and samurai of Japan
  • The Peasants: Those Who Work
    • Shudras and Pariahs of South Asia
    • The Peasants of East Asia
    • The Serfs and peasants of Western Europe, Eastern Europe
    • The serf like capulis of Aztecs, Mayan caste peasants
    • The sharecroppers and tenant farmers of the Arab world
    • The commercial classes are agents of change
  • Gender Roles
    • The patriarchical system increases with aristocratic societies, warrior societies
    • Increasing examples of subordination of women
      • Footbinding in China; painted faces in Japan
      • Veils, purdah in SW Asia and India; suttee in India
      • Women as legal minors, disenfranchised in Western Europe
      • Women as baby factories: Aztecs
    • Exceptions to the Rule
      • Women in the Catholic Church: renounce sexuality and acquire equality
      • Women in Bantu Africa – farmers, merchants, some rulers, matrilineal descent
      • Women in Southeast Asia – merchants, commerce, some rulers, matriarchy
developments in arts sciences
  • The Muslims including South Asia
    • Preserved Past Learning Especially the Greeks
    • Created New Learning
    • Spread other civilizations‘ accomplishments
    • Science, Math, Geography, History, Philosophy
  • The Chinese and Japanese
    • Golden Age of Art and Poetry under Tang and Song
    • The Heian Age in Japan – first novels, pillow books
    • Ming tend to preserve culture or turn the clock backwards
  • The Byzantines
    • Icons, Hagia Sofia, Cyrillic
  • Western Europe
    • Romanesque and Gothic Architecture
    • Epics and Romances
    • Scholasticism
  • Mesoamerica
    • Higher mathematics
    • Astronomy and Calendars
    • BUT: Most of Technology remained borderline Neolithic
cc essay topics
  • Compare and contrast Japanese and Western European feudalism. (Note you might want to consider adding Zhou feudalism).
  • Compare and contrast political and social institutions in Western and Eastern Europe.
  • Analyze the roles and functions of cities in major cultures (Islamic, West European, East Asia, Western Africa, Eastern Africa).
cc essay topics1
  • Compare trading alliances and patterns of trade in any two of these regions:
    • Northern Europe (Hansa)
    • Mediterranean (Venice, Genoa)
    • Abbasid Muslim world
    • The Silk Road of Central Asia
    • Trans-Saharan Trade Route
    • East Africa/ Swahili cities
    • The Indian Ocean.
  • Compare the roles of politics, social classes, and gender in Christianity and Islam.
cc essay topics2
  • Analyze gender and social systems and any changes over time as caused by interactions and religions such as the impact of Islam and Neo-Confucianism.
  • Compare the Aztec and Inca Empire.
  • Compare European, Sub-Saharan African, Southeast Asian and South Asian contacts with the Islamic world.
cc essay topics3
  • Compare the impact of the Mongol Empire on cultures and institutions in Eastern Europe, Middle East, and East Asia.
  • Compare the impact of Turkish invasions on the Byzantines and Islamic worlds.
  • Compare the Christian Crusades and Islamic Jihads.
cc essay topics4
  • Compare schisms in Christianity (Roman Catholic-Orthodox) and Islam (Sunni-Shia).
  • Compare interactions in any two regions during this time period:
    • Pre-Columbian Americas
    • Eastern Europe
    • Western Europe
    • Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Islamic World
    • South Asia
    • Southeast Asia
ccot essay topics
  • Trace the change and continuities of interactions between from 600 to 1450 CE in any historical region: Latin America; North America; Sub-Saharan Africa; SW Asia and North Africa; Western Europe; Eastern Europe; Central Asia; South Asia; Southeast Asia; and East Asia.
  • Trace the changes and continuities in world trade from 500 BCE to 1000 CE in any one of the following regions: the Mediterranean, the Silk Road (Central Asia, East Asia, Southwest Asia), the Indian Ocean, Sub-Saharan Africa.
ccot essay topics1
  • Trace the changes and continuities in world trade from 500 to 1500 CE in any one of the following regions: North Africa and SW Asia; Western Europe; Mesoamerica; Sub-Saharan Africa; the Indian Ocean; Central Asia; East and Southeast Asia.
  • Trace the transformation in functions and structures of states from 600 to 1450 CE in one region: Western Europe; Eastern Europe; SW Asia; Sub-Saharan Africa; East Asia; Southeast Asia; South Asia.
  • Trace the demographic changes from 600 to 1450 in any one region: Latin America, Western Europe, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Asia, Southeast Asia, or East Asia.
ccot essay topics2
              • Trace the transformation and impact of technology including manufacturing, transportation and communications from 600 to 1450 in any one region: North America; West Europe; East Europe; Sub-Saharan Africa; Southwest Asia and North Africa; South Asia; and East Asia.
              • Trace the transformation of religion and philosophy from 600 to 1450 in any one region: East Asia; South Asia; Southwest Asia and North Africa; Western Europe; Eastern Europe; Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Trace the intellectual and artistic transformation from 600 to 1450 in any one region: East Asia; South Asia; Southwest Asia; West Europe; East Europe.
ccot essay topics3
  • Trace the transformation of social structures including gender and inequalities from 600 to 1450 in any one region: West Europe; Southwest Asia; Sub-Saharan Africa; South Asia; East Asia, and Southeast Asia.
  • Trace the transformation in gender roles from 600 to 1450 CE in any one region: the Muslim world, the Christian world, the Hindu world, the Confucian world, the Buddhist world, the world of the Central Asian nomad, in Mesoamerica, or in Sub-Saharan Africa.